TIAA Investments maintains a long history of engaging with public companies to improve corporate governance. Our pioneering effort dates back to the 1970s, when we were one of the first institutional investors to engage in dialogue with companies on social issues. Our public-equity portfolio of $354 billion (as of 12/31/17) puts us in an influential position when voting on shareholder resolutions.
TIAA Investments prefers to engage privately with portfolio companies when we sense potential shortcomings in their governance or environmental and social policies and practices that we believe impact their performance. We look to raise concerns and allow companies to explain how their policies and practices address these concerns. Our goal is to respect the proper role of shareholders to exercise oversight, and provide our views on governance practices and shareholder rights, urging voluntary action. We believe constructive engagement strategies help to build trust, improve understanding and create space for dialogue.
In addition to private engagements with portfolio companies, we also take on market-wide issues, share our views and engage on those issues in public forums where portfolio companies and investment peers are gathered to hear different viewpoints. These are generally public in nature and do not target specific companies.